As the cost of energy produced from fossil fuel rises while the price of solar technology drops, Philadelphia is encouraging residents and businesses to install solar panels and is planning to build a number of large-scale solar arrays on City-owned land.
With funding from the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar America Cities Program, the City is collaborating with Villanova and Philadelphia University graduate students to create tutorials on solar power that will be posted on the Mayor's Office of Sustainability website. The City is also writing a guidebook for solar industry professionals that outlines how to plan and install solar projects in Philadelphia. The guidebook provides information on site design criteria, the permitting process, and the PECO approval process. The Solar America Cities partners are designing a two-day training course for Philadelphia electrical inspectors to teach them how to assure that solar installations in the City are safe and responsible.
The City is collaborating on plans for three large-scale solar installations which together will provide enough electricity to power over 600 homes. The City and our partners strategically considered many sites before choosing the Navy Yard, the Philadelphia Water Department's (PWD) Southeast Wastewater Pollution Control Plant, and PWD's Baxter Water Treatment Facility. The planned installations will provide cost competitive renewable energy for decades. The City is optimistic that large-scale market transformation will make additional ambitious solar projects more feasible in the future.